Kenyan president bans ‘party-hopping’ among lawmakers Electoral reforms signed days after Uhuru Kenyatta poached lawmakers to form own party

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Days after forming a new political party largely recruited from rival groups, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday signed a law banning the practice, known as party-hopping in Kenya.

The Election Offenses Act, which lawmakers had passed up for ratification on Sept. 1, bars the practice among lawmakers of switching party immediately before an election, usually after being promised a position of power by a rival party. The system has been widely condemned as damaging for democracy.

“Following the passage of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill through both houses of parliament, His Excellency the President has assented to the same, bringing into force of law the Election Laws (Amendment) Act and the Election Offenses Act that brings a broad range of electoral reforms,” a statement from Kenyatta’s office said.

On Sept. 10, Kenyatta launched the Jubilee Party as a vehicle to secure him a second term next year. The new party assimilated defectors from 11 political parties.

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